The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

July 25, 2013

Admiration, puzzlement over Weiner's loyal spouse

NEW YORK (AP) — When Huma Abedin first started getting media attention years ago, some people couldn't help but wonder what this beautiful, ambitious woman with high-fashion sense and a world-class Rolodex saw in Anthony Weiner.

That's a question New Yorkers might be asking themselves again after revelations that Weiner, now a candidate for mayor of New York, didn't immediately give up his habit of sending sexual pictures and messages to female fans after his humiliating resignation from Congress in 2011.

Abedin herself took a shot at an answer in an awkward joint news conference Tuesday, saying she had forgiven her husband and felt his marital indiscretions were "between us." She offered an even more basic explanation in a first-person essay in Harper's Bazaar due on newsstands in September.

"Quite simply, I love my husband, I love my city, and I believe in what he wants to do for the people of New York," she wrote.

Will that be enough to satisfy a bewildered public? Maybe not. But people who go searching for a deeper motive are almost certain to get it wrong.

"None of us know what's going on with that couple now," said Stephen Medvic, an associate professor of government at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania and author of the book, "In Defense of Politicians."

"She made a statement," he said. "Let's leave it at that. Let's not try to put into somebody's mind what's not there."

In any case, Abedin now seems to be trying to shake off a cloud of humiliation, which seems an exceeding unlikely place for someone whose reputation as a top aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton was based on an uncanny ability to navigate the chaos of presidential campaigns and global diplomatic trips with the poise of Grace Kelly.

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